Lockups with USB disks on FreeBSD

David Jackson djackson452 at gmail.com
Sun Mar 7 17:12:32 UTC 2010

Aiza wrote:
> David Jackson wrote:
>> David Jackson wrote:
>>> David Jackson wrote:
>>>> I am currently using FreeBSD 8.0. I have been, for a long time, 
>>>> been having problems with lockups of FreeBSD 8.0 when using USB 
>>>> hard disks. Sometimes certain applications lock up for several 
>>>> minutes, when they use the disk, file operations are very slow, and 
>>>> sometimes the entire operating system can lock up for several 
>>>> minutes. This can be a pretty painful thing and makes the system 
>>>> seem very unstable. I am using UFS filesystems on the disks. It 
>>>> seems to happen on multiple disks that i use.
>>>> I was hopeful changes to the FreeBSD USB drivers might have 
>>>> improved things but they are as bad as ever.
>>>> Help is appreciated.
>>> Are there perhaps diagnostic tools or an error log that can be 
>>> enabled so I can see if maybe there is some sort of error occuring 
>>> with the USB transmissions that might be causing this problem, or 
>>> perhaps what part of the driver code it is getting locked up on?.
>>> Has anyone else experienced problems such as this with USB disks? If 
>>> more information on my hardware is needed i will post dmesg output.
>>> Any help is appreciated.
>> I have done some more thinking about this issue. Just an app freeze 
>> on USB access is one thing, however, the fact that the entire OS 
>> freezes up on access to the USB disk shows there are much more 
>> serious problems in the FreeBSD kernel. A USB access should not cause 
>> the kernel to lock up for minutes. these are very serious flaws in 
>> the FreeBSD kernel and lead to an instable and unuseable system. ....
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> Your description about what is happening is lacking any detail.
> Tell us what is on the USB disk, How you are using it, How you created 
> it  ECT ECT ECT  Booting your system from it is way different than 
> writing small data files to it or containing a raid file system or 
> some database. You have to help us help you.
The USB disk is being used with 2 UFS filesystems on it. Due to the bad 
performance, it takes a long time to copy data to the disk. It seems as 
though there is a complete lock up periodically when doing a very large 
copy. The system becomes very unstable. Conditions worsen when two or 
three apps are using the disk at once, it seems. Often the entire OS can 
lock up for minutes when the disk is being used. I once tried to copy a 
200 mb directory, it took 7 hours. Perhaps the developers of the USB 
system would like discuss this, so we can figure out what is going on. I 
do not know enough about it as to say exactly where the problem is.
Has anyone else been having these problems?

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